Battle over Bingu wa Mutharika's wealth continues
The family of the late Bingu wa Mutharika wants their step mother and former first lady Callista Mutharika to leave Casa Blanca Manor, popularly known as Ndata mansion.
The family, which is operating under the Bineth Trust, through their lawyers Mbendera and Nkhono Associates, wrote Callista on October 18, demanding that she leaves the house within five days.
"We act for the registered Trustees of the Bineth Trust, our client to request that you should move out of Casa Blanca Manor at Ndata Farm by expiry of five days from the date of this letter.
"As you may be aware Ndata Farm, which includes the Casablanca Manor, belongs to the Bineth Trust. The Trustees, who are legal owners of this property duly passed a resolution on 11th October, 2012 that you should vacate the premises within the next five days," reads a notice of eviction reference number 2012/10/8088/AM, dated October 18, 2012.
The letter further advises Callista to take all her personal belongings but requests that she leaves intact anything belonging to the Bineth Trust.
"We are informed that the deceased property of the late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika is yet to be distributed. We further ask you to leave behind any property that belongs to the estate as arrangements for such distribution are currently underway," it reads.
But Callista, through her lawyers Chisanga and Tomoka, obtained a court injunction on Wednesday stopping the Trust from evicting her from the mansion.
"The defendants whether by themselves, their agents or servants whatsoever and howsoever be and are hereby restrained from evicting or threatening to evict the plaintiff or otherwise interfering with the Plaintiff's peaceful user of the house known as Casa Blanca of Ndata Farm in Thyolo," reads the injunction.
In her affidavit, the former first lady claims that the Ndata mansion is a matrimonial home which she and the late President built and that Mutharika's children only went there as visitors upon invitation.
"The deceased and I used to occupy Casa Blanca as our matrimonial home whenever we were in the Southern Region together with the deceased grand nephews and grand nieces. During my entire married life with the deceased, none of the children ever spent a night at Casa Blanca. Duwa only came to visit once at my invitation and Madaliso came to visit once after calling me.
"About two weeks ago, Madaliso Harrison Mutharika came to Casa Blanca and collected keys to some outside doors of the house without giving me or anybody else an explanation. When he wanted to collect some documents, I instructed the workers to stop him. He went away and quickly came back with his sisters and other people," reads Callista Jane Mutharika's affidavit.
Speaking through a press statement Mutharika's children cried foul that their step mother was barring them from their "family home".
"It saddens us deeply to be denied access to our homestead (the place our parents are resting eternally) and being threatened with police actions," reads the statement signed by Madaliso, Tapiwa and Duwa.
Courts documents indicate that the Trustees of Bineth Trust are Bingu wa Mutharika as Founder/Chairman, Arthur Peter Mutharika as Vice Chairman, Ethel Zvauya Mutharika and Madaliso Harrison Mutharika as Trustees and Duwa Marien Mutharika as Trustee/ Secretary.